23.8.03

politics is a strange business
Pauline Hanson, whom I mentioned yesterday arouses many different feelings. I don't agree with her policies, but it seems strange to me that many who bagged her party, are now openly saying that they feel sorry for her and that three years imprisonment is too severe for the charge of electoral fraud. She believes she is "very innocent of the charge." I wonder if it is a case of "there but for the grace of God, go I?"

I think that probably her fraud was unintentional, the result of ignorance of forms, little education and knowledge of regulations. (Not that ignorance is any excuse.) I think that other politicians may well be relieved that she is the one who has been convicted. I'm trying to be careful how I word this, but there have been longstanding rorts of the system in many states, accusations of stacking numbers to ensure preselection for candidacy, dubious contributions to party funds and even rigging the principle of "one man, one vote" by tampering with electoral boundaries. Such things have been well known for a very long time. Then along comes Hanson and an easy target presents itself: a woman, to start with; a single mother as well, divorced. She lays herself open to ridicule every time she opens her mouth with an atrocious accent and dreadful grammar and reporters are quick to pounce on her gaffes. She's been poorly advised and there seems to have been little attempt to organise her finances to keep personal and party monies separate.

As a result, she's been sent to gaol for three years, although she has appealed. I think many politicians think things have gone well. She's in gaol which will be very uncomfortable for her, given her many pronouncements on law and order. Attention is diverted from other things such as the ethanol debate and the contribution by its manufacturerers to Liberal coffers. The Queensland Labor Party thinks the imprisonment is a good thing. It takes attention from their promotion of a formerly disgraced member.

For any interested here are two sites giving information about Hanson and One Nation. I've tried to give both sides of the picture although I have disagreed with her since she came onto the scene. For and against

I'll quote Mike Carlton from the Sydney Morning Herald as I don't know how long their references are left up before archiving. He's a well known journalist in Sydney who usually writes fairly satirically.

There is infinite poetic justice in Pauline Hanson being banged away for three years in Wacol. There goes the political illiterate who stumped the country demanding harsher penalties for criminals, the xenophobe who howled for those diseased Asian queue-jumpers to be flung behind the razor wire, the fishwife who ranted against unmarried mothers, the racist harridan who hollered for Aboriginal kids to be jailed for stealing a can of Coke.

Now see how you like it, honey. Especially when you meet up in the showers with some of those you were so eager to trample in your floodlit, headlining way to the top.

That, anyway, was my first reaction to her imprisonment. Hanson has been such a corrosive canker on the Australian soul that I rejoiced to see her downfall. As I wrote here five years ago, the Witch of Ipswich was a thoroughly nasty whinger.

Hatred piled upon ignorance, bigotry heaped upon stupidity, she was the exemplar of George Bernard Shaw's "feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy".

Naturally, this was seen as the "sneering of these little cappuccino-quaffing journalists", to quote my Herald colleague Paul Sheehan. And even today her media hagiographers like to affect the notion that she spoke an intrinsic Aussie truth which has escaped those lofty elitists who befuddle their brains by actually reading a book or two.

I still loathe Hanson and all her works but, on reflection, I think her sentence is too much. Her crime was not deliberate, more a stupid administrative error, especially by comparison with that venal electoral rorting in the Queensland ALP, where most of the perpetrators got off scot-free. Indeed one of them, Mike Kaiser, has recently been rehabilitated, disgracefully, to become a high commissar at Labor's federal HQ.

Community service might have been the way to punish Pauline. Perhaps Noel Pearson could have found her something useful to do up in Cape York.
(Sydney Morning Herald, 230803)





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22.8.03

business opportunity
I've just received a letter which I'm assured is "not one of those internet hoaxes you read about." If any one would like the details, all in upper case and with the most appalling grammar and spelling of any I've seen of these things, then let me know and I will pass on CHIEF ONYEMA UGOCHUKWU's address.

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Mangled English
Pauline Hanson, not known here for her command of the English language, declared after being convicted of electoral fraud, "I'm very innocent of the charge." She's probably not very unique in that declaration, perhaps just quite unique.

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Richard found a list of prayers for Myer-Briggs categories. Check them out.



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19.8.03

An interesting link from Irene on research into blogs. Have a look here or here .

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Yesterday I wrote about baby Elizabeth who suffered a fractured skull in an assault on her father. Several people have now been arrested, all maintaining they did not see the baby. It seems that her father was a victim of mistaken identity, not that that is any real excuse. Baby Elizabeth is making good progress and may be allowed to leave hospital later this week.

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18.8.03

More lovely toys
Following on from Jesus with the cross necklace and Moses with a hockey stick (and did you see the Buddha toy too?) is this. Action toys. How about Job in rags with scabs or Eve in what looks like a swimming costume of sorts? Why not buy the whole set?

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Sydneysiders disgusted
A young father carrying his baby daughter, five weeks old, in a harness strapped to his chest, was assaulted by a gang. He was badly beaten, but the baby now has a fractured skull and is severely ill. Doctors are unsure of the long term outcome from the fracture. The attackers ran away when a passing motorist stopped to help the father.

He was carrying his baby because the family was unable to afford a (legally compulsory) car capsule. Sydney people have been outraged by the attack and police say they have been inundated with messages of support and some practical support as well.

A man has been arrested who was apparently part of the group, although he says he did not take part in the attack. He stated that the attackers did not know about the baby. I find it hard enough to believe that they just attacked this man for no reason. It is incredible to me that they neither saw nor heard the baby and continued to kick the father in the chest when he was on the ground.

Your prayers for little Elizabeth and her family would be appreciated.

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No holiday
I'm still at home after spending most of yesterday in the emergency room at one of our major hospitals. I woke yesterday with a neck so stiff I could hardly move my head and a massive headache, unlike any I can ever remember. Six hours and many tests later it appears to have been caused by the tension in the neck which has been stiffening for days. I'm fine today, neck is still a bit sore and I feel somewhat washed out. I'm taking things easy fpr a while.

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